What Makes Santa Claus a Content Marketing Genius?

“‘Twas the night before Christmas …”

“You better watch out, you better not cry, …”

“Up on the rooftop, reindeer paws …”

Just skim through the above lines and you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about, even though I haven’t mentioned his name. That, my friend, is powerful branding.

Although he bears little resemblance to the real St. Nicholas — whose “presents” in 3rd century Turkey were bags of gold that allowed poor families to offer dowries for their daughters — the modern-day Santa Claus (aka Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Père Nöel, der Weihnachtsmann, etc.) has become one of the most recognizable figures in the world, especially at this time of year.

So, what is it about Santa that makes his brand so powerful? For this little girl who is still hoping to make the “good” list, it’s gotta be his brilliant approach to content marketing. Here’s why:

He has a strong visual brand.

Santa’s definitely evolved over the years, and much of what we recognize of him today we owe to Coca-Cola and illustrator Haddon Sundblom. The round belly, the red suit (a nod to the real St. Nicholas’ red bishop’s vestments), the snowy white hair and beard, the sleigh, the reindeer, and of course that iconic hat — Santa’s got the whole visual package, and we’d recognize him anywhere.

What we can learn: You may think that people don’t notice visual elements like colors, fonts, and layouts, but these are all important aspects of your visual brand that make your content instantly recognizable. Give them the attention they deserve.

He keeps it personal.

Even in this day of social media and instant messaging, the United States Postal Service still receives over 1 million letters personally addressed to Santa every year. The tradition of a child sitting down with pencil and paper to make an annual plea for toys and other goodies goes on and on. They just know that when it comes to Kris Kringle, the appeal has to be that personal. And many times, yes, Santa writes back.

What we can learn: You may not be able to send an individual message to every person in your community — but you can create content that is so attuned to their wants, their needs, and their dreams for the future that it makes them say “Wow, how did they know?”

His story never changes.

It’s not like one year Santa comes down the chimney and the next he slips in under the garage door. He doesn’t experiment with St. Bernards or zebras pulling his sleigh. He doesn’t have a stylist telling him that a magenta suit would be more “edgy.” Year after year after year, Santa’s story is the same … and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What we can learn: Make sure you’re telling the same story everywhere, all the time — on your website, in your print materials, in your day-to-day content, in your ebooks and white papers. It’s that kind of consistency that allows you to start building a tribe around your story.